Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protest ‘Dumb and Disrespectful’

October 10, 2016

Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s recent protests of the national anthem as "dumb and disrespectful" in an interview posted Monday.

Ginsburg, a darling of the political left, made the remarks in an interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric to coincide with the release of a new compilation of her writings.

Couric’s interview covered a variety of topics with the Ginsburg, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, including Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem. Yahoo reports:

When asked by Couric how she feels about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and others athletes, refusing to stand for the anthem, Ginsburg replied, "I think it’s really dumb of them."

"Would I arrest them for doing it? No," Ginsburg elaborated. "I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act."

Couric then asked, "But when it comes to these football players, you may find their actions offensive, but what you’re saying is, it’s within their rights to exercise those actions?"

"Yes," said Ginsburg. "If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that."

Kaepernick’s protest has roiled the sports world as more athletes have followed his lead and initiated their own protests of the national anthem over what they call systemic racism in the U.S., particularly by the police. Even President Obama has addressed the tumult, saying he does not doubt the backup 49ers quarterback’s sincerity.